Ringworld (role-playing game)

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The Ringworld science fiction role-playing game was published by Chaosium in 1984, using the Basic Role-Playing system for its rules and Larry Niven's Ringworld novels as a setting.

Contents

Setting

The setting is a distant future based on extrapolation of as much hard science as Niven had available. Specifically, it's the 29th century. "Known Space" (also the commonly used title for Larry Niven's future history science fiction series) is about 80 light years in diameter with 10,000 stars, including Human Space (40 light years diameter, 524 stars in 357 systems, 30 billion humans, ⅔ on Earth), as well as neighbouring Alien civilisations. Important Alien civilisations include the Puppeteers, paranoid pacifist herbivore centaurs, and the Kzinti, carnivorous warlike felines, who fought multiple wars over hundreds of years against the Humans, being defeated each time. Human allies include intelligent dolphins and orcas.

"Known Space" only serves as a background for the game. The game is intended to be set on the Ringworld itself, an enormous single world discovered at the far reaches of Known Space, a ring around a sun at approximately the orbit of the Earth. It is 997,000 miles wide, about 125 Earth-diameters. The total inner surface of the ring is equal to that of 3 million Earths. The ring is spun at a speed to provide 1G of gravity on the innerside, while 20 giant shadow squares at about the orbit of Mercury occlude the Sun to provide night. It was constructed by the Pak Protectors, now mostly extinct, who had a common origin with humans. The Ringworld is home to some 30 trillion sentient inhabitants from up to 2000 hominid species. The world is described in a series of novels by Niven, Ringworld, The Ringworld Engineers, and, after the game's publication, The Ringworld Throne and Ringworld's Children.

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